Coach Simon Goodwin has no problem with Melbourne’s Ruckman Brodie Grundy meeting with Port Adelaide over a possible swap just days before the AFL Final.
Aside from one game in the seniors, two-time All-Australian Grundy has worked on the Demons’ VFL team for nearly two months.
Grundy was fired from Collingwood for salary cap reasons late last year to Melbourne, where he teamed up with fellow star Max Gawn at the Dems in a blockbuster move.
However, Melbourne performed better in the second half of the season with Gawn as the lone ruckman, leaving Grundy out of place.
The 29-year-old spoke to Port last week about joining his third club in as many years next season in a bid to reclaim their place as the No. 1 team.
With Port ending the season third in the AFL rankings, the fourth-ranked Demons have a good chance of facing the Power later in the finals series.
“There’s no problem on my part,” Goodwin said Wednesday when asked about Grundy’s meeting with power.
“We are now a mature industry.
“There are probably 50 players in the league who would play different clubs at this time of year. It’s pretty commonplace in the industry these days.”
Goodwin and Grundy have not spoken directly about the big man’s future at the club, but the Demons’ hierarchy is aware of the player’s desire to play at the highest level on a regular basis.
“Brodie’s a professional footballer,” Grundy said. “He knows he has a four-year contract and he knows he will keep pushing this year to play in the football final.
“We know what’s going on there. Our list manager and managers get involved and we understand what’s going on.
“I don’t need to have this conversation with Brodie, I know what he’s doing from the everyday perspective. I know he will train at a really high level and be ready to perform.”
Melbourne open their finals round at the MCG on Thursday night against smaller Premier Collingwood.
Kobe is not an inspiration for the Lions
Kobe Bryant is unlikely to have known he was inspiring Brisbane’s 2023 AFL premier championship contender as he ran head-to-head against good friend and Spanish rival Pau Gasol at the 2008 Olympics.
That statement set the tone for a US team, now known as the Redeem Team, that won gold in China after a surprise defeat to Argentina four years earlier sent the program skyrocketing.
Their commitment came from the team’s superstars committing to defense rather than simply relying on their bold offensive skills.
Chris Fagan let his Lions watch the Redeem Team 2022 pre-season documentary, with Bryant’s equalizer against Gasol particularly resonating with the coach and his players.
“They (the US) got lost and all the big guns integrated into the defense and they ended up winning the gold medal,” Fagan said after a win over Geelong earlier in the year.
“That’s been a theme of ours all year – if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.”
Brisbane beat the Cats 9-10 (64) to 7-11 (53) that night and then went on to win the games despite amassing 77 and 72 points in the final month of the regular season.
Simply put — points conceded — the Lions’ defense has improved from 10th-best in 2022 to sixth-best this season, while small forward Charlie Cameron has the competition’s second-most within 50 tackles at 42.
The addition of defensive-minded midfielder Josh Dunkley also helped make this group more resilient, while defensive coach Murray Davis’ subtle shift to the forward line is not to be underestimated.
A year ago, Brisbane reached an elimination final with Richmond knowing there would be a penalty shootout, and the Lions eventually won thanks to a late goal from Joe Daniher in a game that saw 17 lead changes.
Fast forward to Saturday and Brisbane will be confident they can secure another win against Port Adelaide in the Gabba, where they have not lost all year.
“It mirrored a little bit of our last year, with ups and downs in the back half,” said co-captain Lachie Neale.
“Sometimes we were really good defensively, sometimes bad.
“This year we’ve been more stable and the game plan is based on competition and defense and that should serve us well.”
Steeled Collingwood is primed for the Premiership tilt
Defender Brayden Maynard knows exactly what’s different about this Collingwood side’s Premiership selection: they’re actually ready for it.
The Magpies had a brilliant run to the Prefinals in Craig McRae’s freshman season, but fell well short of a place in the Grand Finals. A year later, McRae’s charges are minor firsts and believe they belong in the top tier of the league.
“We’re a lot better prepared this year than last year,” Maynard told AAP. “I felt like we went with a lot of adrenaline last year.”
Nick Daicos’ stunning move to midfield and Jordan De Goey and Josh Daicos stepping up a gear have eased Collingwood’s rise. But former captain Scott Pendlebury has consistently cited the “work output” the Magpies have put in since the heartbreak in last season’s interim final as the foundation of this year’s stellar season.
Veteran defender Jeremy Howe agrees. “We didn’t really set a limit on where we could go last year because we wanted to find out what our best football was like,” Howe told AAP.
“We feel like we really uncovered a pretty strong game plan and everyone went on that emotional ride and felt really good and we won 10 or 11 in a row and here we go.”
“But this year it was like, ‘There’s expectations, teams are coming for us, where is that going to go?’ For us, the 12 months (before) laid the groundwork for where to start.
“Now let’s start right up here. So let’s just tighten the screws and see if we can get better.
“To the credit of the boys and the coaches, it’s really gratifying how the pre-season has gone, how the year has unfolded…it’s really gratifying to finish first.”
“It’s a confirmation of what we’ve accomplished over the summer and season. The essentials begin now.”
McRae was credited last year for building a culture where players were encouraged to express themselves. Winger Josh Daicos believes that proportion has increased as the captaincy transitioned seamlessly from Pendlebury to Darcy Moore.
“It’s a really great environment where everyone can be themselves,” Daicos told AAP. “Everyone has a great time walking through the door ready to get to work. We obviously love seeing each other.
“We just have a real clarity about what we need to do for each other and what it takes to win.”
Defenseman Isaac Quaynor makes clear Collingwood’s plans for September as they attempt to win their first trophy since 2010. “We’re here to go all the way,” he said.
https://www.theroar.com.au/2023/09/06/afl-news-kobe-bryant-inspiring-lions-finals-tilt-scg-success-motivates-demons-pies-steeled-to-end-title-drought/ Demons react to Grundy's trade talk, Kobe Bryant inspires Lions in Finals, Pies Steeled ends title drought